The first panel featured a conversation with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Indian Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman. Secretary Pritzker began by stressing the interconnectedness of the U.S. and Indian markets, alluding to the importance of the first ever U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue being held this week. She affirmed the U.S. government’s intent to make it easier for foreign and domestic firms to do business in India and the United States, and deepen ties of trade and strengthen bilateral commercial bonds in ways that benefit workers and firms in both countries.

Minister Sitharaman emphasized that with the political will of Prime Minister Modi, India is speedily becoming a more investor-friendly country and shedding its reputation for unnecessary bureaucracy and red-tape. Carnegie President William J. Burns moderated.

William J. Burns

William J. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the oldest international affairs think tank in the United States.

Penny Pritzker

Penny Pritzker has served as the 38th U.S. secretary of commerce since being sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on June 26, 2013.

Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman is the minister of state (independent charge) for commerce and industry of India.